By Karla Raettig, Executive Director
As the environmental watchdog in the state of Maryland, I’m proud to present to you our 2018 Environmental Scorecard. The annual report highlights the environmental voting record of all 188 legislators in Maryland.
The 2018 Session was a complicated year for the environment in the Maryland General Assembly. On the one hand, legislators passed several bills of environmental importance and in multiple cases the environment was a bipartisan concern.
While those bills were important, leaders in the General Assembly failed to vote on many top environmental priorities. This inaction short changes Marylanders from truly understanding where our elected officials stand on these particular top environmental issues and further disenfranchises voters in this key election year.
In more frustrating news, we saw long-time environmental champions fail to support environmental priorities, or refuse to bring them up for a vote. In particular, we are especially concerned at the shelving of top environmental legislation, such as the Styrofoam ban.
These bills are supported by you, and strong community-led coalitions with broad legislative support that key leaders in legislative committees refused a vote on. See how your legislator scored here>>
Once our elected officials return to Annapolis in January, we at Maryland LCV will be there to hold them accountable for their actions, or inactions.
The full Scorecard is available online and includes records of votes cast on the floor of the House and Senate and in committees, along with past voting records.
Thank you for being a conservation voter.
The Anne Arundel County Council has seven members. It takes a majority of four votes to pass any bill, including any bill to protect our environment. The Anne Arundel Chapter has endorsed seven candidates for the County Council. We are confident that, if elected, they will give Annapolis a strong conservation majority on the Council. Now we have to get them elected.This is the latest in a series of emails that focus on each individual candidate. In this edition we will introduce you to Councilman Andrew Pruski, the Democratic candidate for District 4, running for re-election. Councilman Pruski represents District 4, which covers Laurel, Fort Meade, Gambrills, Odenton, North Crofton, Millersville, and Crownsville. Find your County Council District here.MEET ANDREW PRUSKICouncilman Andrew Pruski is running for his second term on the Anne Arundel County Council. His public service began at early age as an Eagle Scout and work as a Volunteer for the Veteran's Administration. He is running for re-election to continue his goals of supporting our public schools, public safety, protecting our environment, and supporting locally owned businesses.Councilman Pruski has been a champion for the environment for many years including his service on the Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals and President of the Four Seasons Community Association. He has fought against the two proposed landfills in West County and supported standing for communities trying to challenge unwanted development projects. There are several notable decisions that Councilman Pruskisided with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other Environmental Groups.As a school board member and President of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education, Councilman Pruski led efforts to include environmental literacy in the school system curriculum and was an advocate in forming the Watershed Stewards Academy. He believes that environmental education is critical to the future of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.Councilman Pruski wants to play an integral role in the next General Development Plan by holding open and transparent public hearings to help make wise land use decisions. Councilman Pruski has been an advocate for involving the community in development decisions and promoting policies to protect our environment. His record speaks for itself, he has voted to keep the stormwater remediation fund, ban coal tar, and ban polystyrene foam in Anne Arundel County.COUNCILMAN PRUSKI NEEDS OUR HELP
For Immediate Release
August 16, 2018
Contact: Kristen Harbeson, Political Director email@example.com
cell: 410 952 8100
Maryland League of Conservation Voters Announces General Election Endorsements
(Annapolis, MD) Today the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) released a round of endorsed candidates for the Maryland General Assembly in the 2018 state general elections. With a success rate of over 90% after the June primary elections, the organization said the two Senate candidates and sixteen House candidates are ready to lead their communities with the environment as a central issue to their campaign.
"The general election is 83 days away and these strong conservation leaders are fresh from the primary victories, hitting the ground to be strong advocates in their communities and for the environment,” said Karla Raettig, Executive Director of Maryland LCV. “These candidates will lead in the General Assembly with our values to protect our air, land, water, and communities at the forefront.”
The Anne Arundel County Council has seven members. It takes a majority of four votes to pass any bill, including any bill to protect our environment. The Anne Arundel Chapter has endorsed seven candidates for the County Council. We are confident that, if elected, they will give Annapolis a strong conservation majority on the Council. Now we have to get them elected.This is the latest in a series of emails that focus on each individual candidate. In this edition we will introduce you to Lisa Brannigan Rodvien, the Democratic candidate for District 6, Chris Trumbauer’s District. Chris is barred by term limits from seeking another term. District 6 covers Annapolis Neck. Find your County Council District here.MEET LISA RODVIENI am running for Anne Arundel County Council District 6 to help improve and protect the quality of life for ALL of our county’s residents. We are privileged in Anne Arundel County to be part of an amazing and diverse community set in a beautiful and unique landscape on the Chesapeake Bay. In recent years, however, the fast pace of development in our county has strained our county’s schools, our infrastructure, and environment. As we update the county’s General Development Plan in 2019, I will advocate for a transparent and inclusive process that gives all stakeholders a seat at the table and that ensures finite and fragile environmental resources are treated with great care.I will also work towards ensuring that our public schools provide excellent education for ALL children so that today’s young people can have prosperous futures right here in Anne Arundel County. Furthermore, I will work towards improving the availability of mental health resources in our county for people of all ages. School counselors in AACPS are currently tasked with serving as many as three times the number of students recommended by national organizations. The number of mental health care providers for adults, even those with insurance coverage, is insufficient to serve the needs of our community. Expanding access and availability to mental health care in our community will be a critical component in stemming the addiction crisis.Finally, I will work to create an county that is welcoming to immigrants and does not create undue fear for those who are simply working to live peaceful and productive lives in our county.LISA NEEDS OUR HELPYou can find out more about how to contribute to and get involved with LISA’s campaign at www.lisarodvien.com.Please join us in supporting Lisa on at the Quiet Waters Park Blue Heron Center from
By: Dannielle Lipinski
Do you remember moving into your first apartment? I loved that feeling of independence. Along with finally being able to sort the recycling and start a compost pile that my roommates hated, I remember looking at our energy bill wondering how we can start to be a part of the clean energy revolution and fight climate change as consumers.
I had already convinced the roomies about energy-efficient lightbulbs and turning off the lights. However, when I talked about solar panels and wind turbines, they immediately shut me down. Now that I’m all “grown-up” and some of my “roommates” are my young son, a turtle, and a rambunctious dog, I can make a few more choices about my energy usage, not to mention still drive everyone crazy with compost ideas, rain barrels, and a garden that has grown a bit wild.
Through my work at Maryland LCV, I’ve worked on landmark legislation that helps all Marylanders combat climate change. In 2015, the General Assembly passed a fantastic law called the Community Solar Act (HB 1087). This is the pilot program that really changes the way we think about solar energy and who can benefit from its increased usage.
Homeowners who have looked at solar and determined that their living situation cannot support solar panels, they can still benefit from solar power. In addition, the law expands the benefits of solar to renters, churches, and others who have not been able to participate before. The great thing about community solar is that anyone and everyone can join in. In states like Minnesota and New York, community solar has really taken off.
And now it’s Maryland’s turn. With community solar, you can “share” the power generated at a nearby solar farm. You have the option of paying no upfront fees. There are no rate hikes and no surprises. Simply put, community solar is the wave of the future. Your solar will come from a local site within Maryland and you’ll be helping Maryland grow in solar energy.
Look into community solar today, and you can convince your roommates to take the plunge and join the clean energy revolution! Please check out the links below for more information on opportunities to sign up:
Here is more information about the Community Solar from the Public Service Commission: https://www.psc.state.md.us/electricity/community-solar-pilot-program/
You’ve heard about the blue wave, you’re experiencing the heat wave, and you know there is change in the air. I am excited about what we are seeing all across Maryland- a Green Wave. Last month’s primary election was an affirmation of what we’ve known here at Maryland LCV all along- people want leaders who will stand up and protect the environment.
Over the past year, we endorsed 117 candidates around the state. On June 26th, 106 of them won their primary bid- a 91% success rate! We could not have done it without you, Dannielle. When these candidates win in November, we are excited to work with them from their first day on our environmental agenda that represents Marylanders in the General Assembly.
- Sarah Elfreth for Anne Arundel County’s District 30 Senate Nominee: Sarah has spent her career engaged in some of Maryland’s most important battles: advocating for the Bay, strengthening our schools, and creating jobs. But throughout her efforts, she has never failed to put the voices of local residents at the forefront of her work and she will be an excellent Senator. (pictured on the bottom right)
- David Fraser-Hidalgo for Montgomery County’s District 15 Delegate Nominee: Appointed in 2013, David has been a clear voice for the environment. The awardee of our 2015 Legislator of the Year at our Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner, David pushed the envelope and was a lead sponsor and champion for the landmark legislation for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing that eventually led to the incredible 2017 victory in banning it entirely in the state of Maryland. (pictured on the bottom left)
- Robbyn Lewis for Baltimore City’s District 46 Delegate Nominee: Robbyn is a public health professional, sustainability advocate, and community leader. She was appointed to the Maryland General Assembly in 2016. Community service is her priority and it shows in the legislation she sponsors and supports for Baltimore City and all of Maryland. (pictured at the top)
Together, we can continue to advocate for strong environmental policy in Maryland and exceed our goals for smart climate policy, clean water, public health protection, and open spaces for every Marylander. With the right leaders in office, we can move the needle in favor of common sense legislation and regulations. That’s why we go through a strenuous endorsement process and publicize to the public who the environmental candidates are.
Written by Kristen Harbeson, Political Director on June 29, 2018I heard that the Capital journalists wrote today’s paper from the back of a pick-up truck. Wherever they wrote the copy, the paper was delivered on time this morning, with the kind of steely-eyed professionalism everyone should aspire to.We rely on the free press in the work we do at the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. We count on them to educate Marylanders about the work of our government, as well as the activities of advocates like us - both for and against. They are our partners in educating you on the work of the General Assembly and they hold both us and the General Assembly accountable. You can trust us more when an impartial, fact-checking, professional free press supports what we say. The free press is an environmental concern.This is all to say that the heinous attack at the Capital yesterday was personal for us at Maryland LCV. Our hearts are broken for our friends and colleagues, and we are immeasurably grateful for their work.
June 27, 2018 (Annapolis, MD) With 91 percent of their endorsed candidates winning races in yesterday’s Primary Election, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) says the results were a big win for the environment – and that the increased turnout and excitement bodes well for No
(Annapolis, MD) On June 12, 2018 the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) has announced that, after careful consideration, the organization will not be endorsing a candidate in the Maryland Democratic primary election for Governor because all candidates would be a good choice for conservation-minded voters.
After reviewing candidate questionnaires and conducting interviews, Maryland LCV board and staff came to the conclusion that each candidate would be a leader on such important issues as climate change, clean water, land conservation, and public health.
Guest post by Bob Gallagher, Co-Chair of the Anne Arundel County Chapter of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters in the Eye on Annapolis
The two biggest issues in the 2018 election for County Executive are likely to be education and the pace of development. The non-partisan Anne Arundel Chapter of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters endorses candidates based on which candidate will be better for the environment. Carefully managed development can result in gains for the environment. Poorly managed development can be devastating to the environment and to our quality of life. Poorly managed development can also impact schools, exacerbating over-crowded classrooms and straining inadequate school budgets.
Both candidates for county executive, Steve Schuh and Steuart Pittman, have a broad grasp of environmental issues and have made commitments to better manage the pace of development. While Mr. Pittman’s promises are somewhat more specific and comprehensive, the determinative factor in deciding between them is credibility: which one is more likely to fulfill those commitments. We find Mr. Pittman more credible when it comes to managing development. We endorse Steuart Pittman.
Mr. Schuh and Mr. Pittman both have deep roots in the county. They are comparable in age. They come from upper middle-class backgrounds with solid academic credentials. Mr. Schuh pursued law, finance and business before pursuing public office. Mr. Pittman worked for years as a community organizer before returning to manage his family’s 550 acre farm in Davidsonville where he founded a non-profit organization that enjoys national stature. This is his first run for office.
During his time as a community organizer, Mr. Pittman worked extensively on environmental issues. As president of the Maryland Horse Council, he created its first stewardship committee. In leadership positions with the Soil Conservation District and Anne Arundel Farm Bureau he worked to build bridges between agriculture and the environmental community. Last year he worked with other community and environmental leaders to limit the excesses of an Agro-tourism bill championed by Mr. Schuh. Working with other community groups he has also been a leader in the effort to expand public participation in the next general development plan. He is committed to enforcing the GDP and other environmental laws, preserving forests and strengthening the stormwater program. He is a strong supporter of increasing open space and water access. He has committed to manage development in a sustainable manner better matching development with infrastructure improvements.
These commitments are attainable and entirely consistent with Mr. Pittman’s actions over the past several years. We find them highly credible.
As a delegate, Steve Schuh had a mixed record on the environment. He scored 100 percent one year but had a mediocre lifetime score. He voted for the bill that authorized counties to adopt stormwater fees and promised that he would support the stormwater bill pending before the AA County Council. When his opponent used it against him in the Republican primary, he did a 180-degree turn promising to repeal the bill. His efforts at repeal were unsuccessful.
Following his election, Mr. Schuh appointed a land-use transition team dominated by development interests. During his first two years in office he spoke of the need to “kick start” growth. He supported a bill that gave developers millions of dollars in reduced sewer and water connection fees. He supported a bill that allowed developers to hire their own engineers to review and approve substantial parts of their development plans. During his watch, the county lost more trees than any other county in the state. Developers received record numbers of zoning variances and modifications. The Schuh administration sided with developers to transfer development rights from non-waterfront to waterfront property until the Critical Area Commission ruled it illegal. During each stage of the litigation challenging those actions, the administration fought to deny environmental groups the right to participate.
It is against this background that we have evaluated the several bills recently proposed by Mr. Schuh to manage development. In our view, those bills are helpful but will not have a significant long-term, limiting impact on development.
In light of his record to date on development, we find Mr. Schuh’s recently professed commitment to rein in growth lacking credibility.